Monday, May 5

Print on Demand

One of the questions I get asked a lot is what am I going to do about getting Zombology published. In this day and age most people assume I'll KickStart it, but as I've mentioned before I have some misgivings about KickStarter.

Another option would be to self-publish it, either as a short hand-made run, or as a full professional run using my own money - both of which I have previous for. It's a card game, so it would be less effort to make by hand or much cheaper to manufacture than the games I published as Reiver Games. But my life has changed beyond recognition since I started Reiver Games. I'm now a parent to a wonderful little girl who needs and deserves a lot of her daddy's time (plus I genuinely want to spend as much time with her as I can, especially since I spend so much of her waking life at work). As a parent, risking most of our savings on a venture that I've previously failed at to the tune of several thousand pounds is also pretty irresponsible. So both of those are looking unlikely too.

That left me with a third option: find a publisher. It's notoriously difficult to get a game picked up by a publisher - hence everyone turning to KickStarter with such gay abandon. I think I've a slight head start over a newbie designer in that I know a bunch of publishers personally from my Reiver Games days. But it will still be a struggle and I'll have to find one who has space in their publishing schedule and for whom Zombology would be a good fit. So that's been my thinking and what I've been aiming for.

This weekend we've been away for a long weekend (hence the late posting) but earlier in the week, before we left, I came across Daniel Solis' monthly sales report for the games he has manufactured through Print on Demand (POD) company DriveThruCards. Which got me thinking about POD as an alternative publishing method. It would effectively be self-published, so I wouldn't be at the mercy of another publisher's schedule, tastes or editing. I wouldn't need to devote hours of my free time to hand making copies and trips to the Post Office, since they handle manufacture and shipping. I wouldn't need a boat load of cash upfront since they print copies as and when they are ordered and they just give you your royalties out of the profit they make from the sales. You'd get some free marketing just by being listed in their marketplace (though nowhere near as much as being listed in KickStarter's). Daniel has an easier job of it since he's an artist by trade, so I'd need to either seriously up my game, splash out on a (cheap!) pro artist or release it ugly.

But it's now an option I'm seriously considering...


GamesBook said...

"Cheap pro" ... isn't that like an oxymoron like "military intelligence"? Perhaps you meant "affordable semi-pro"??

Jackson Pope said...

Hiya Derek,

Valid point! Can't argue with that.



Jonathan King said...

I agree. For the moment POD is the way to go until I can get my kickstarter up. It helps tide me over and get my game out there.

The hope is that someday I'll get enough games out there that I can do a full run.

Jackson Pope said...

Hiya Jonathan,

I'm looking for a KickStarter/crowdfunding alternative rather than a temporary solution, I think Print on Demand could be a solution, but I need to investigate properly.